Date of Graduation
College of Creative Arts
School of Music
Stride (Harlem piano) is a jazz piano style that flourished from c. 1910 to c. 1940, primarily in New York. Revolving around the four most significant Harlem stride pianist-composers, Luckey Roberts, James P. Johnson, Willie "the Lion" Smith, and Fats Waller, this research document focuses on the history, performance practices, and stylistic characteristics of the genre. Through an extensive study of relevant literature and analysis of select stride compositions and transcriptions including Luckey Roberts' Pork and Beans, James P. Johnson's The Mule Walk, Willie "the Lion" Smith's Cuttin' Out, and Fats Waller's Handful of Keys, this research document investigates the origin, competitive nature, dissemination, and musical traits of the genre. Furthermore, this study illuminates how the competitive nature of this genre led to the development of the first virtuosic jazz piano style -- stride.
Womack, Jacob, "Luckey Roberts, Willie "the Lion" Smith, "Fats" Waller, and James P. Johnson: An Analysis of Historical, Cultural, and Performance Aspects of Stride Piano from 1910 to 1940" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5012.